While many consider Audi and BMW the last word in midsize luxury performance sedans, Infiniti has other ideas. In the 2020 Infiniti Q50, the Japanese automaker has constructed a performance sedan every bit as athletic and powerful as its German rivals, but with a look and feel that’s uniquely Infiniti. Infiniti sweetens the deal with a standard 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, leaving the turbocharged 4-cylinders in the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series wanting. At the top of the Q50 food chain is a scorching 400-hp twin-turbo V6 in the Red Sport 400 trim. Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering addresses previous complaints about vague steering response with three preset steering modes and six drive modes, including a personal setting.
What’s New for 2020?
For 2020, the Mercedes-Benz-derived 2.0-liter turbo is dropped from the lineup, prompting the creation of a new entry-level trim: the 3.0t Pure. All models receive an updated Infiniti InTouch system with dual LCD/VGA screens. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, and every trim gains two lighted USB ports (one Type A and one Type C). See the 2020 Infiniti Q50 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Sleek styling
- Powerful standard V6
- Direct Adaptive Steering
- Easy navigation thanks to hard buttons and dual touchscreens
What We Don’t
- Sophisticated driver-assist systems aren’t for everyone and can feel intrusive
- Narrow front seats
- No manual transmission
- No hybrid
$37,425 — $62,000
The Q50 3.0t trims employ a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that generates 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 uses a modified version of the same engine that’s good for 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Environmental Protection Agency estimates for the rear-wheel-drive 3.0t and Sport trims are 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, with the all-wheel-drive models earning 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. The Q50 Red Sport 400 with RWD sees 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy, and its AWD equivalent gets 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Infiniti Q50 comes in one body style applied to four trims: 3.0t Pure, 3.0t Luxe, 3.0t Sport and Red Sport 400. All Q50s are powered by their rear wheels but can be ordered with AWD.
The Q50 3.0t Pure ($37,425, RWD; $39,425, AWD) includes 17-in alloy wheels, leatherette-simulated leather seating, LED headlights, LED fog lights, heated outside mirrors, 8-way power driver and passenger seats with driver’s-side manual lumbar support, Infiniti’s dual-touchscreen interface with apps, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview monitor, forward-emergency braking and predictive forward-collision warning, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers, Intelligent Key keyless entry and starting and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with HD Radio and dual USB ports.
The Q50 3.0t Luxe ($39,875, RWD; $41,875, AWD) adds 18-in wheels, a power moonroof, maple wood trim and a HomeLink universal garage door opener, plus electronic power steering.
The Q50 3.0t Sport ($49,525, RWD; $51,525, AWD) comes with the Luxe features and adds 19-in alloy wheels, a unique front fascia, leather seating surfaces, chrome exhaust finishers and sport seats with extendable thigh support and driver’s-side adjustable side bolsters. Also standard is a 16-speaker Bose audio system, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, Advanced Climate Control System, power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering wheel, and the contents of the Essential and ProAssist packages.
The Q50 Red Sport 400 ($55,275, RWD; $57,275, AWD) includes the Sport’s equipment and more aggressive summer tires, Dynamic Digital Suspension, sport brakes with red-painted calipers, quilted semi-aniline leather seats and unique 19-in staggered fragment alloy wheels.
The ProAssist package adds an Around View Monitor, a blind spot monitoring system, front and rear sonar sensors plus rear cross-traffic alert and intervention.
The Essential package adds InTouch service with navigation radio, SiriusXM traffic, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, driver’s seat power lumbar support, remote start and a 60/40 split folding rear seat with armrest and pass-through.
The ProActive package adds adaptive front headlights with auto high-beam assist, lane-departure warning and assist, adaptive cruise control, Direct Adaptive Steering and blind spot monitoring and intervention.
The Infiniti Q50 was crash-tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and earned a 5-star overall rating, with four stars in the front crash test and five stars for the side-impact and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Q50 its best rating of "Good" in all performed crash tests, and a "Superior" rating in the crash avoidance and mitigation test.
Also bolstering the Q50’s safety credentials is an optional predictive system that gauges the speed of the vehicle two cars ahead, as well as available lane-departure warning with active lane control.
Behind the Wheel
In the 3.0t, abundant power flows through the 7-speed transmission, producing brisk acceleration and smooth shifts. On models so equipped, Direct Adaptive Steering interprets steering wheel input through an electronic control unit and turns the front wheels via two electric motors. Optional on the 3.0t and Red Sport 400, the second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering system delivers improved road feedback and a more natural steering feel.
The Q50 drives with a secure, surefooted and swift grasp of the road, but real driving enthusiasts will want to skip the electronic steering and stick with the standard hydraulic system. There are, however, other reasons to opt for Direct Adaptive Steering, including a lane-minding system that helps keep the car centered in its lane (assuming the road stays generally straight). Other tech driving features include distance control, which helps maintain a safety cushion between you and the car ahead of you.
The star of the show is the Q50 Red Sport 400. Packing a 400-hp wallop and making 350 lb-ft of maximum torque from the performance version of the 3.0-liter twin turbo, this Q50 is identifiable by its red S badging. Two key elements set the 400-hp V6 apart from the 300-hp version. For more efficient cooling, the 400-hp V6 has a second water pump. Additionally, it boasts an industry-first turbo speed sensor, giving the turbo system a 30 percent power boost by allowing the blades to spin faster. Both V6 iterations require premium fuel.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Audi A4 — The A4 delivers a premium look and feel, with a stunning interior that many consider best in class. However, the A4 is a FWD car, so unless you opt for the AWD version, its handling won’t be as precise as the Q50.
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia — As a relative newcomer to the sport sedan scene, the Giulia offers stunning good looks and impressive performance credentials. It’s priced right, but there is no long-term data on its reliability or resale.
Used Infiniti Q70 — A used 2014 to 2016 Infiniti Q70 offers similar styling, the option of a V8 engine and a more luxurious interior, all while staying within the Infiniti family.
If you’re looking for a blend of comfort and performance, the Q50 3.0t Luxe or Sport with all the optional packages delivers just about everything you’ll need. Hardcore enthusiasts will want the Red Sport 400 AWD with the ProActive package. Find an Infiniti Q50 for sale